life is a garden,
not a road
we enter and exit
through the same gate
where we go matters less
than what we notice
Bokonon — Life Is…
A friend posted this to Facebook recently. I have heard many times that “life is about the journey, not the destination”. Which says to me that if I focus on where I think I am going, I often miss the beauty and the wonders along the way. And my life experience is that the destination I think I am working towards is often not where I end up, nor is it where I really want to be.
This little poem takes that idea a step further, by saying that there is not really a destination at all. I remember visiting Monet's garden at Giverny, where he painted many of his later masterpieces. I wanted to revisit the scene of this painting and that painting. I wanted a photograph of the weeping willows over the pond, and one of the arched bridge behind the water lilies. But if I had gone, head down, to just those scenes, I would have missed so much beauty and left poorer rather than richer. Monet spent years in that same garden and did not exhaust its riches. I spent an afternoon, and while I enjoyed seeing the “famous” scenes, the garden was full of beauty, large and small, for me to notice as I wandered.
And so it can be with the garden of my life. My program helps me to notice the things that are in my life today. The practices of daily inventory, prayer, and meditation slow me down in my headlong dash into the future, and enable me to look at what I have, at what is around me, right here, right now.
A meditation for October 14, 2013.
Gungor – Beautiful Things
Bokonon is a character in the novel Cats Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut, who founded a religion, Bokonoism.